Sanni Onogu, Abuja
A motion seeking to pass vote of confidence in the leadership of the 9th National Assembly and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, suffered a setback in the upper chamber on Tuesday.
The motion which was contained in the Order Paper which lists the activities of the Senate for the day, was sponsored by Senator Kassim Shettima, representing Borno Central and co-sponsored by 35 other Senators.
However, when it was time for the motion to be debated, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who stood in for the Senate Leader, moved a motion to stand down the motion and for it to be taken in the next legislative day.
Senator Abdullahi’s motion was seconded by the Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Philip Aduda.
While Abdullahi did not give any reason for the abrupt decision to step down the motion, it was however learnt that some Senators who were listed as co-sponsors of the motion were not comfortable with their names being on the list.
Some of them were said to have protested to the Senate President, that they were not consulted before being listed as co-sponsors of the motion.
Lawan was said to have directed that the motion be stood down to allow for further consultation, hence the motion by Abdullahi for it to be stood down.
Meanwhile, the prayers of the motion as contained in the Order Paper had called for special commendation for Lawan and equally urged all “Senators to endeavour to sustain the present goodwill of the Senate under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan.”
The motion in another prayer further called on Nigerians and the Federal Government, “under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari, to support the 9th National Assembly in its determination to pass legislations that would impact meaningfully on Nigerians and take it to the next level.”
The motion was titled: “Vote of confidence in the leadership of the National Assembly.”
Shettima had called on the Senate to observe with satisfaction, the stability and unity of purpose witnessed by the 9th National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan since its inauguration on Tuesday, 11th June, 2019.
He noted “with much satisfaction” the modest achievement of the 9th National Assembly in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility “with much diligence and candour as exhibited by the Senate” through:
“The realignment of the Budget Calendar to January-December budget cycle through the timely passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill on Thursday, 5th December, 2019.
“The timely passage of the Finance Bill 2019 to drive the Fiscal Reforms as proposed for the 2020 financial year.
“The timely passage of the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to reposition the procurement process.
“The timely passage of the Production Sharing Contract Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 given its potential to impact on the revenue base of the Federal Government.
“Timely consideration/screening and confirmation of Ministerial Nominees to ensure immediate commencement and implementation of government policies in line with this administration’s agenda.”
Shettima urged the Senate to be impressed by the existing cooperation among all Senators and indeed members of the National Assembly in the interest of the nation and the improved Executive Legislative relation.
He called on the upper chamber to be “further impressed by the selfless and patriotic leadership of the 9th National Assembly generally to work for Nigeria and Nigerians in line with its Legislative Agenda.”
The Borno Central Senator called on the Senate to accordingly resolve to: “Pass a vote of confidence in the leadership of the 9th National Assembly and particularly commend the President of the Senate and urge all Senators to endeavour to sustain the present goodwill of the Senate under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan; and to
“Call on Nigerians, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari to support the 9th National Assembly in its determination to pass legislations that will impact meaningfully on Nigerians and take it to the next level.”